Basketball: Sharks face top clash against Eagles

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Two of the early season favourites for the BBL Championship meet at the EIS tomorrow evening when One Health Sharks Sheffield host Newcastle Eagles.

Both sides have made good starts to the season, qualifying for the BBL Trophy semi-finals and having recorded a victory against Guildford Heat in their opening Championship game last weekend.

Sharks captain Adrian Anderson is in no doubt about the importance of Friday’s game: “It’s a big game for both us, and regardless who’ve they’ve signed over the years, Fab (Fabulous Flournoy) has always done a good job.

“We’ve got them next week as well, and they are two crucial games that could be pivotal at the end of the season.

“So it’s important that we have our A game for 40 minutes and concentrate on getting the win.”

Anderson has a good idea who he sees as the key players for the Eagles: “Joe Chapman can be deadly but probably their most dangerous player is Charles Smith.

“He’s tough to guard and can score consistently in a variety of different ways. Darius Defoe is very athletic and active on the board, and those three have been there for a long time now, they know how Fab works and how to apply his philosophies all of the time.”

Flournoy is ready for a difficult game in Sheffield: “I haven’t seen Sheffield live this season. Obviously they only have one guy in who is new to the league (Jimmy Langhurst) and he seems to have settled in fine.

“The other guys we all know and any team with as strong a front line as Olu Babalola, Mike Tuck and Justin Dobbins is one to be respected. Add in Nate [Reinking] then they become a definite top four, or higher, team.”